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Posts Tagged ‘design principles’

A Process for Project Life – Paperclipping 234

Friday, January 31st, 2014

paperclipping 234

Do you ever feel like you’re battling with Project Life?

I know Project Life is designed to make scrapbooking simple, fast, and easy. And I believe it does that for people who have not been scrapbooking a whole lot like you and I have.

When I look back on the years I’ve tried on and off to do PL, I realize I’ve been battling with it —

  • battling with its colored cards to keep everything from looking chaotic and disjointed
  • battling with the pocket orientations
  • battling with the time it takes to get it done

But the battle is over.

Over the past year I’ve figured out solutions to all these problems and I want to share them with you. These tips are not rules and they’re not the only way to make your Project Life pages look awesome. These are the tactics I’ve come to love as the way that I make the pages attractive, while letting my photos shine, and still keeping it simple and manageable.

Three Tips for Minimizing Chaos with Project Life

(For the scrapbooker like you and me, who may be a bit of an over-achiever when it comes to memory-keeping).

1. Limit Color

Here are options for how to use color that have consistently given me Project Life pages I love…

  1. Use one color per 2-page spread.
  2. Use two colors in small amounts as accents, with black and white being dominant.

I’m not referring to the photos here. I’m talking about the cards, papers, and accents. In the image above from my video tutorial, you can see that I did the two-color accent option, with black and white being dominant. It’s fresh and energetic, but doesn’t distract from the photos.

2. Use the same 3×4 card across your spread.

I got this idea from my favorite pages in Izzy’s Project Life album and I shared an idea for doing it with washi tape from my December Project Life pages as a way to reduce chaos.

If you have more than two or three journal cards across a spread, you’ll want to break up the repetition with one contrasting card for variation to make it look interesting. Here’s why this looks so good (in addition to keeping it simple and easy!)…

  • It unifies the page.
  • It leads the eye across the page.
  • It won’t compete with your photos.

When you vary each card, especially if they’re all a different color or design, you’re adding contrast. Everything that contrasts is trying to get your attention.

What happens when you have lots of different kids all trying to get your attention? Overwhelming? Yeah — that’s how those pages can feel, too.

3. Use embellishments as a solution, not a problem.

Don’t add embellishments only for the sake of adding embellishments. That leads to all kinds of problems and frustration. Think of embellishments as a way to solve design problems. You’ll still have pretty pages and embellishing, but you won’t overdo it and make your pages chaotic.

Need help with some of these Project Life problems?

You can see it all in action on video! I made a tutorial this week where I go through a month of pages (3.5 spreads), and show you how to do all three of these tips, plus additional ones!

It is because of these tips that my most challenging page ended up being my favorite.

I also share my process for completing a month in a quick, simple way that still leads to attractive pages.

You must be a Paperclipping Member to watch the video.

CLICK HERE for info on a membership!

Members can watch the video in the Member’s Area and on iTunes.

Shine On,
Love,-Noell

Nine Great Places to Create Layers and Gatherings

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

You Are My Sunshine (closeup)

Do you love layers and gatherings of embellishments on your scrapbook pages?

Want to know some good places to put them? There are lots of great places. Here are nine I’ve used lately, along with a few tips for creating attractive and intriguing layers!

Click to read more…

Gathering to Make Lines – Paperclipping 227

Friday, October 18th, 2013

paperclipping 227

Want another fresh design idea that you can use in a whole bunch of new ways?

Well, we do embellishment gatherings all the time, where we cluster embellishments into a spot. Let’s take the idea of gathering items together, but instead, we’ll gather with the purpose of forming lines.

Lines are amazing elements of design because you can use them to anchor your photos and embellishments, and prevent them from appearing like they’re floating. You can also use lines to lead the eye to important spots, such as your main photo.

What kinds of things can you gather into lines? Almost anything…

  • scraps
  • embellishments of all kinds
  • border strips
  • tags
  • labels
  • frames
  • ribbons
  • rub-on’s
  • flowers

I think I’ve gathered all of these at one time or another.

Gathering a whole bunch of a single type of item makes a big statement. It has a lot of impact.

So instead of taking that sheet of labels and using them one by one on various pages, try using all of them in a line gathering on one page in a line that intersects with your focal point photo. It can look really cool, while anchoring your photo at the same time.

Need to see it in action?

I just released a video where I made line gatherings out of the first three items in the list above. In this video you get to see me assemble three different scrapbook layouts, each with its own line gathering.

This video is now available in the Member’s Area and on iTunes. You must be a Paperclipping Member to get the video.

CLICK HERE for information about a membership.

Shine On,
Love,-Noell

How to Balance Color Across the Page – Paperclipping 226

Monday, September 30th, 2013

paperclipping 226

There are so many reasons a layout might feel off.

A common one is that the color is not balanced across the page.

Any time you add an item to your page, you need to repeat that color in a couple different ways:

  1. across the page
  2. up-and-down the layers

How do you do that?

Well, let’s say you have aqua on the side of your page. You need to add aqua somewhere across the page at least once, though often twice. And if you add multiple layers of other colors on top of the aqua, then your aqua is in that bottom layer and you’ll need to add more aqua somewhere in a top layer.

If the various colors aren’t spread out in multiple places, then items look random and call way too much attention to themselves. When you find yourself continuously drawn to an item and you feel the slightest hint of discomfort, then you know that the item isn’t fitting in with the rest of the page in a balanced way.

Want to see how it all works in action? Want to see how to tell when it’s all balanced, and when it’s not?

I made a single page layout and a two-page layout step-by-step in a video. You’ll get to see how color can get off-balance and then balanced again with every additional item. You’ll see ways to fix a color balance problem. You’ll see the difference between getting it and not getting it, and you’ll be better able to spot the problems next time.

This video is now in the Member’s Area and in the Member’s iTunes feed.

If you’re not a Paperclipping Member, click here for info!

Unity On the Page – Paperclipping 224

Friday, August 30th, 2013

paperclipping 224

How do you know when it’s finished?

If you’re like a lot of other scrapbookers, you’ve wondered this same thing.

You may have also wondered why some pages slam-dunk it, while others don’t — even sometimes layouts that were scraplifted by someone else’s perfect page.

Believe it or not, there’s probably one thing that is not in place whenever you’re asking these questions.

Click to read more…

Trendy Ways to Create a Visual Path – Paperclipping 220

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

paperclipping 220

Do you struggle with where to put embellishments?

It can be easy to know where to place embellishments if you use them to create a visual path.

A visual path is a path the eye will take around a layout — the purposes being to get people to look where you want them to look, but more importantly, to keep the eye engaged so they look longer.

Embellishments are like milestones or landmarks in the path. They flag the eye’s attention. You can set them up so that one embellishment will send the viewer on to the next one, and so on. By the time the eye processes the last one, that first one is calling again, and the viewer will continue to view the page, noticing and enjoying more details.

Current trends in our culture have brought us new trends in visual paths that we’re seeing in a lot of scrapbook layouts. They are casual, playful, and energetic!

I share some of these trendy visual paths and show you different ways to make them in this week’s Paperclipping video tutorial where I assemble four different layouts!

Not a member? Click here to learn about a Paperclipping Membership!

If you’re already a member, your video is waiting for you in the Member’s Area and on iTunes.

Edge Gatherings – Paperclipping 216

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

paperclipping 216

Remember the old borders we used to make for the sides of our pages years ago? They were often intricate, time-consuming, and sometimes even a distraction from the photos.

Edge gatherings are similar to borders, but they’re much easier to put together and they’re way cooler.
They’re also not so cumbersome. Click to read more…

Trapped White Space – Paperclipping 195

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

paperclipping 195

When you hear about white space in scrapbooking what do you think of?

  • Layouts that are mostly a large clean area with a small cluster of items?
  • The spaces around and in-between your items, regardless of how busy or clean the page is?

I hope you mostly think of the second one.

I don’t say that because there’s anything wrong with the first one — just that it’s a very limited view of white space, and white space is an essential part of every single layout, no matter what the layout is like.

Before I learned about design principles I had this growing sense that the spaces I was making between my 5-7 photos and my cropped papers made a huge difference in my pages, though I couldn’t yet say why. Then I started teaching myself to paint. One thing I learned is that paying attention to the spaces around the subjects in your paintings are at least as important as the subjects themselves.

From then on this phrase has always stuck with me: Mind your space!

US (closeup)

You don’t need formulas for how much space to use at varying spots. Just pay attention to it and ask if the spaces you’re creating when you lay things down are pleasing and deliberate.

This simple act of redirecting your attention will make an enormous difference!

All these years I’ve been talking about design and how to use space, I’ve never talked much about “trapped white space.” I’ve rarely had to deal with it myself so it never occurred to me until recently to talk about it.

How is it possible I have very rarely run into trapped white space on my pages? Before I even knew what it was I figured out early how to place my items in certain ways that prevent you from trapping white space altogether.

So this week we made a video tutorial where I share…

  • what trapped white space is, and how to recognize it on your pages
  • an example where I’m fixing a page that has trapped white space
  • how to think about your items and placement so that you avoid trapping white space in the first place
  • my strategies of “justifying” and “nestling”

For a larger study on maximizing your white space, other episodes related episodes that Paperclipping Members can watch are:

  • episode 165 – Communicate with Space
  • episode 161 – Scale and Proportion in Scrapbooking
  • episode 155 – The Dominance Principle and Groupings
  • episode 114 – How to Use Space for Good Design
  • episode 46 – Invisible Grids

You must have a membership to watch the videos. Click here to find out about a Paperclipping Membership.

Craziest LIttle Rascals (closeup)

Ready for some video tutorials? Click here!

3 Ways to Store It: Patterned Paper

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

So Many Wonderful Passions (closeup)

For years I’ve been recommending scrapbookers organize stuff based on the way they hunt for things. Well, I’ve been refining my own system and this year I’ve hit on one that has revolutionized it all for me in a way that no other organization re-do ever has.

Today I’m excited to share with you my 3-part system for storing patterned paper. I’ve never heard of anyone else who organizes like this so don’t give up on this post if the first two parts of the system seem crazy. The third part will make you feel better and with all three parts together you have every possible way I can think of to organize your paper.

Ready to see how it works?

Part 1 – Store 12×12′s by Mood and Tone
There’s a pretty limited number of emotions and moods. Our patterned papers reflect a good handful of them, both in the colors and in the patterns themselves.

Sort them by mood and put your favorite papers of each mood in the front. When you pull out the photo(s) you want to scrap, ask yourself what the mood is and then go to the patterned papers for that mood.

layout_moods

Paper choice used to be the slowest part of my process after journaling, but now I find my paper within seconds. I keep expecting this to stop working and so far it continues to blow my mind! If you’re skeptical, read what one of the Paperclipping Members said after she watched the related video tutorial I posted to the membership:

Oh my, I think I’m sold. I just reorganized all my papers using this method (I was using by manufacturer before and it was cumbersome to flip through everything every time, but color alone didn’t work for me so I stuck to brand). I feel liberated already. It took me less than an hour (I don’t have too much, maybe 80 full sheets or so) but I think the ease with which it came together indicates something. I started just putting things into piles and at first I had way too many piles, but I started to come up with preliminary categories and tweaking as I went. I found that as I continued I would come upon one or two “ah ha!” pieces that just totally screamed whatever I was trying to say, and then it was easier to put the harder to categorize papers with those obvious ones. I ended up with seven of my own categories that I feel great about.

The real test came when I was done however. I’ve been staring at these two photos on my desk for a couple of weeks now–I wanted to use them with orange and cut part of this truly pretty orange paper with a graphic white pattern. But something was totally off and I was making no progress. I looked at them again tonight after the reorg, and decided they were actually “whimsical/fun” photos and pulled out a large white/orange dot pattern from that folder. There is no comparison, it works now–even though the oranges are basically the same! It just feels better.

Thanks so much, Noell!

PS of course, when my boyfriend asked what I was doing, and I said that was organizing my paper by how it makes me feel, he thought I was crazy. But when he saw how quickly I was done, I think even he was impressed. He is used to seeing me obsess over half-finished organizational schemes for much longer than this took!

Part 2 – Store Scraps Together
All scraps smaller than eight or so inches wide go together in one tray, tin, or other container.

Yes, all of them, together.

Does that idea make you twitch? Well guess what? You will find the most enchanting paper combinations this way — ones you could never have planned, dreamed of, nor found in a store and created by even your favorite designers.

Whenever I go to weed out the scraps I no longer love, serendipity happens. Here are two layouts that have resulted from this…

May 2012 6371

N 38

And just a note — I store most of my screen-printed transparencies along with my paper. They might be made of a different material but most of them function like patterned paper, so I don’t see any reason they should be separated.

Part 3 – Store 6×6 Paper Pads Together
Do this in a way that you can flip through them and easily see the fronts. Mine are in a wooden box.

Obviously, I’m the last to do this, not the first. But it’s a great part of this system because it allows you to hunt for your papers in some of those other ways we all sometimes do:

  • by color
  • by manufacturer

May 2012 6370

This way you won’t be lost if you’re worried about not having your large sheets and your scraps organized by color or manufacturer. Because companies put a sampling of the patterns on the front of the paper pads, you can quickly flip through the pads to see what your options are. Then you can pull from there.

All 3 Parts Working Together
With this 3-part system in place you can now look for papers in all of the possible ways I can think of, not just one:

  1. by mood
  2. by serendipitous scrap accidents
  3. by color
  4. by manufacturer

Paperclipping Members who want to launch a study of topics related to this — organization, mixing and matching patterned papers, and scrapbooking with scraps or by mood through via design principles — can watch these video tutorials:

  • 209 – How to Mix Patterns
  • 192 – Organize Patterned Paper by Design Principles
  • 190 – The Whole Process
  • 172 – Making Backgrounds Out of Scraps
  • 158 – Scrapbooking with Scraps
  • 151 – Embellish with Clusters of Scraps
  • 141 – Organization Tips
  • 119 – Expand a Color Palette
  • 105 – How to Have Endless Ideas
  • 98 – Design Language for Crazy
  • 85 – A Tour of My Scraproom
  • 59 – Mixing Patterned Paper

I also go into a lot of detail about patterns and moods in my design course, Design Your Story from The Ground Up.

Want to know more about a Paperclipping Membership? Click here!

The Non-Obvious Triangle – Paperclipping 194

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

paperclipping 194

If you’ve ever watched a tv episode where they show you how to arrange flowers, then you know they’re typically arranged in a visual trinagle. In scrapbooking you mainly hear about placing three embellishments in a visual triangle, but that’s not really what the floral designer means when she’s talking about flower arranging.

Triangles are a key design principle in every visual art from architecture to interior design, to landscaping, etc. Yet the triangles are not obvious and they don’t usually involve three embellishments, either.

So here are five design concepts that will expand your view of using visual triangles and all that you can do with them as you design your pages…

We Made You (closeup)

1. You can create a general overall triangle shape when layering papers, creating layered embellishment gatherings, or collaging items together.

2. In art and design, triangles are rarely exact so it can be confusing at first to see the triangle, even when it’s pointed out. Triangles in design and art are only triangles in a very general sense and are formed more by visual weight than exact lines.

3. When making a visual triangle with three items the way we commonly do in scrapbooking, your items don’t have to be the same. To create a triangle the items should just mimic each other in some way, meaning they should repeat at least one characteristic.

4. When your triangulated items are repeating a common characteristic, they pull your eyes from one to the other.

5. A visual triangle can have more than three items. The important thing is that your items are carrying your eyes in a general triangular shape, and that you have balance.

These concepts are freeing and will take your triangles from predictable to practically invisible. But they’re there, and they’re doing their job!

Shine on,
Noell

P.S.> Some of these concepts can be tricky to understand without examples. I wanted to share all of them with you because once you get them they give you more freedom and opportunities when creating, so I made a video tutorial that demonstrates all these concepts and more on a bunch of different scrapbook pages.

The video is for Paperclipping Members. Click here to learn about membership.

If you’re a member you can head over to the Member’s Area or iTunes to watch the video now!

My 3rd Birthday

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